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Types of sentence

Types of Sentence

Definition of a Sentence

Sentence is a group of words that gives a complete thought, sense or meaning. A sentence at least has a subject and a predicate. A sentence can be a statement, a question, an exclamation, or a command.

A group of words without a subject and a predicate can’t be a sentence. Except the two main parts, a group of words does not give a complete sense.

Let me give you an example. ‘Standing by the gate’ is a group of words, but it does not give a complete sense. ‘I appreciated him.’ It is also a group of words and it gives a complete sense, so it is a sentence. 

Types of Sentences

Grammarians have categorized sentences into two main categories. The two main categories are based on their functions and their structures. When we talk about types of sentences, there are four types of sentences based on their functions and four types based on their structures. Generally, we say that there are four types of sentences.

Types of sentence

Types of Sentences on the Basis of Function

Declarative Sentences

A declarative sentence is a sentence that is used to convey a piece of information, state a fact, or make a statement. We use full stop or period at the end of a declarative sentence. It needs at least a subject and a predicate.

  • She is cooking something.
  • We don’t like her cooking.
  • It is to inform you that I want to resign.
  • We have to join them if we want to defeat them.

Formation of Declarative Sentences

Subject + Verb + Object + ….

To form a declarative sentence, we use basically the above pattern. Sometimes, we don’t need to use object. We can also add other parts like phrases, subordinate clauses, etc. In negative declarative sentences we use not or other words of negations.

Related Tips

  1. Some declarative clauses are used as questions to clarify information. If question mark and full stop are interchanged and the sentences work in both cases, we call that sentence a declarative sentence.
  2. Indirect questions are declarative sentences and their word order is the same as declarative sentences.

Imperative Sentences

We define a command sentence as a sentence that we use to give command, give instruction, make request, or give advice. We use a command sentence when we tell someone to do something. It is punctuated with full stop or exclamation mark.

  • Keep silence.
  • Turn left and walk straight.
  • Give this pen to Mr. Ali, please.
  • Study hard to get better results.

Formation of Command Sentences

There are three main elements that we use to construct a command sentence.

Implied Subject

Implied subject is understood subject that is not stated in a sentence. A command sentence has an implied subject as it looks as it does not have a subject, but everyone is known to the subject.

Imperative Verb

A command sentence begins with imperative verb or infinitive without ‘to’. It can be a single verb or the verb can be followed by the rest of predicate.

Punctuation Marks

We use full stop at the end of a command sentence or sign of exclamation especially for emphasis.

  • (You) Pay your full attention.
  • Try your best to convince him.
  • Get out of my sight!

We use ‘do not’ at the beginning to make negative command. Also remember that there are some exceptional cases in which we don’t follow the above rules exactly. To know about that visit Study English Page and study command sentences.

Related Tips

  1. Conditional command is a command that has a conditional clause too. In this case, a command is given under the condition it has in main clause.
  2. Commands can be softened by using the word ‘please’ or turning it into questions.

Interrogative Sentences

A sentence that is used to find out about something is called a question or an interrogative sentence. It always needs an answer. Interrogative sentences end with question mark which is also called sign of interrogation. Interrogative sentence and question are used for the same purpose; they are just two terms.

  • Does he run his own business?
  • Can you tell me an interesting story?
  • Will you be able to attend the meeting?
  • When do they arrange meetings at the office?

There are four basic types of questions. They are Yes/No questions, Wh-questions, Choice questions, and Tag questions.

Yes/No questions are answered by Yes/No. Wh-questions are used to get information and begin with question words like when, where, who, etc. Choice questions offer choice or choices and they have their answers in the questions. Tag questions are used to confirm information and used at the end of declarative sentences preceded by comma.

Formation of Interrogative Sentences

Formation pattern of interrogative sentences depend on the type of question. There are types of questions and their formation patterns are different accordingly.

Yes/No Question

Auxiliary + Subject + Verb + ……..


Question word + Auxiliary + Subject + Verb + ……

Choice question

Auxiliary + Subject + Verb + Choice +……..

Tag question

Declarative Sentence + Comma + Auxiliary + Subject + ?

Remember that when there is a form of be as a main verb, we use form of be at the place of auxiliary.

Verb (Form of be) + Subject + …….

Related Tips

  1. Indirect questions are declarative sentences, but the questions are embedded in these sentences. 
  2. They just report that questions were asked.

Exclamatory Sentences

Exclamatory sentences show feelings, emotions, excitement, happiness, surprise, or anger. Exclamatory sentences are always end with exclamation marks.

  • What a nice shirt he has worn!
  • How beautifully she danced!

Formation of Exclamatory Sentences

How to form exclamatory sentences? Answer to this question is simple. Three main things are considered in exclamatory sentences. First thing is using of some special words that enhance the expression. These well-known words are what, how, so, and such.

Secondly, exclamation mark is used at the end of any exclamatory sentences. Exclamation mark emphasizes emotions, feelings, or excitement, etc.

Interjection is another thing that is used in exclamatory sentences. Remember that interjection can stand alone and it can be connected to the rest of exclamatory sentence. When it is connected to the rest, it can be followed by comma.

  • What a great idea he has!
  • How fast he drives!
  • It is so ridiculous to drive fast when it snows!
  • She gave such a great idea that solved all our problems!
  • Wow, you are expert in cooking!
  • You will be in my dreams forever!

Related Tips

  1. Short form of exclamatory sentences is commonly used, but they can’t be technically considered exclamatory sentences.
  2. There must be a subject and verb in an exclamatory sentence.
  3. Adjective can be exclamatory with or without other elements when subject is eventive.
  4. Exclamatory sentences can have interrogative structure.

Types of Sentences on the Basis of Structure 

Simple Sentences

Simple sentences are defined as sentences which have one independent clause expressing a complete thought. An independent clause is a group of words containing subject and verb that can stand alone and does not depend on other things.

  • They encouraged us.

This is a short sentence and has one independent clause.

  • If you call me.

This is a clause but can’t stand alone. It does not covey a complete thought.

  • If you call me, I will remind him.

This is a sentence that gives complete thought, but it is not a simple sentence. It has two clauses. One of which is dependent and the other is independent clause.

Other Examples

  • I and my father eat rice at night.
  • She looks beautiful and dance beautifully.
  • You will learn types of sentences in this article.
  • Study English Page is the best site to learn English.
  • He translated Spanish into English and English into Chinese.
  • This article is about types of sentences in English grammar.

Related Tips

  1. Simple sentence has single clause.
  2. Coordinate or correlative conjunction can be used when they don’t create other clauses.
  3. We don’t use comma before coordinating conjunction in simple sentence to create another clause.
  4. Compound subjects, verbs/predicates can be used in simple sentences when they share the same subject and verb.
  5. Modifiers like articles, adjectives, or adverbs can be used in simple sentences.

Compound Sentences

A compound sentence has at least two independent clauses joined by a coordinate conjunction or any appropriate punctuation marks. Each part or clause is a complete thought, so why do we combine to make a compound sentence? The answer is simple because they add more to the meaning in compound sentence.

  • Ali runs his own business, and his class fellows do different jobs.
  • He supports his family; he highly respects his parents.

If you just glance at the above examples, you will see two independent clauses joined by a conjunction or punctuation mark. These sentences are called compound sentences.

Other Examples

  • I was angry, but I did not tell anything.
  • He is getting weighty, yet he eats a lot.
  • Try your best, and a day of your success will meet you.
  • They served the society: they helped more people.
  • I am on the top of the world, so I can help you.
  • We help our mother at home; Diya washes dishes, and I help in cooking.

Formation of Compound Sentences

To form compound sentence is quite easy. We have three ways to construct compound sentence. One is to join clauses by using a coordinating conjunction. The second one is to use semicolon. Secondly, we can use semicolon to join independent clauses. The third one is to use colon. Colon can also be used to join independent clauses.

  • Ali can drive fast, but I can’t drive fast.
  • I love her; she does not realize.
  • She understands her responsibilities: she comes five minutes early to the office.

Related Tips

  1. Use appropriate punctuation marks. Use comma before coordinating conjunction. Colon and semicolon are also used to join clauses.
  2. Use always independent clauses to make compound sentences.
  3. When conjunctive adverb is used to join the clauses, a semicolon precedes it and a comma follows the conjunctive adverb.

Complex Sentences

A sentence that has one independent clause and at least one dependent clause is called a complex sentence. A complex sentence modifies the main point well. Dependent clause can’t stand alone. When it is joined with independent clause, it adds more to the meaning or explains the main point.

Clauses in complex sentences are joined by using subordinating conjunctions. If, when, after, although are examples of subordinating conjunctions. They link dependent and independent clauses.

  • If they change their policies, they will control their employees’ turnover.

We have two clauses in this example. The first one is dependent clause and the second one is independent clause. They are joined by the subordinating conjunction ‘If’.

Other Examples

  • If you discuss your issue with your friends, they will give better suggestions.
  • Although it was dark, I went there and had no problem.
  • We had eaten when Ali came.
  • Switch all of lights before you go to bed.
  • We will have left by the time you wake up.

Formation Complex Sentences

You need at least two clauses of which one must be independent and a subordinating conjunction to join the clauses. If you use dependent clause at first, you must use comma after the dependent clause.

  • When John jumped over the fence, the dog barked at once.
  • The dog barked at once when John jumped over the fence.

Related Tips

  1. Just one independent clause must be there in complex sentences.
  2. Dependent clause is followed by a comma if it comes first.

Compound Complex Sentences

Compound complex sentence is defined as a sentence that has at least two independent clauses and at least one dependent clause. When we take at least two independent clauses from compound sentence and at least one dependent clause from complex sentence, it will become a compound complex sentence. We can say that it is a combination of compound and complex sentences.

  • Don’t waste your time; manage everything well if you want to start the party soon.

This example has three clauses. The first two clauses are independent and the last one is dependent clause.

More Examples

  • If you followed the instructions, you would not hurt yourself, however you don’t feel.
  • He called everyone to the meeting, but I could not attend because I was ill.
  • I was doing my homework when they were going out; therefore, I did not go with them.
  • We are going to visit our aunt, and you have to study because tomorrow is your paper.
  • John is going to go home; give him the book which I bought for him.

Formation of Compound Complex Sentences

To form compound complex sentence, you need at least three clauses. At least two independent clauses must be there. To join independent clauses, you can use correlated conjunctions, coordinating conjunctions, conjunctive adverbs, and appropriate punctuation marks. To link dependent clause with independent clause, subordinating conjunctions can be used. Order of clauses depends upon you. Use punctuation marks as used in compound and complex sentences.

While I was going to the office, my friend asked for some money, but I did not have.

Related Tips

  1. There must be at least two independent clauses and one dependent clause in compound complex sentences.
  2. Comma plays key role. It is used before a coordinating conjunction and after a dependent clause when it comes first.

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